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Trump administration to 'empower' US police forces

News - Americas

Statement on the official White House website says US President Donald Trump will empower police departments.

Trump's administration

The administration of US President Donald Trump condemned what it called the "anti-police atmosphere" in America and called for more law enforcement and more effective policing in a statement on the White House website after the new president's inauguration. 

"The dangerous anti-police atmosphere in America is wrong. The Trump administration will end it," said the statement on the White House's official website after it was taken over by the new administration.

The statement said Trump was still committed to building a border wall to stop undocumented immigration, adding: "Our country needs more law enforcement, more community engagement, and more effective policing."

According to The Guardian's The Counted database, US police forces killed at least 1,092 people 2016. Although African Americans make up roughly 12 percent of the US population, they represented nearly a quarter of those killed by police last year. 

The inflated rate of killing of African Americans by police sparked in recent years the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, a popular civil rights movement aimed at ending police violence and dismantling structural racism.

During his campaign, Trump promised to back law enforcement with federal grants without conditions.

He also pledged to continue a programme, previously suspended by former President Barack Obama, allowing for the transfer of surplus military equipment to police departments.

Trump has also stated he plans to push for legislation that would deem attacks on law enforcement to be "hate crimes".

He previously expressed support for reinstating "stop-and-frisk", a New York Police Department policy that was banned after a judge ruled that it constituted "indirect" racial profiling.

Questions raised

Trump's ascension to the White House raises a host of questions for the United States.

Elsewhere on the White House website, the Trump administration vowed in a separate statement to make the US military "strong again". 

"We will also develop a state-of-the-art missile defence system to protect against missile-based attacks from states like Iran and North Korea," the statement said. 

"Cyberwarfare is an emerging battlefield, and we must take every measure to safeguard our national security secrets and systems."

Other statements on the website promised to create more jobs, seek out trade deals that benefit average American citizens, defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) and lowering energy costs. 

"The Trump Administration will embrace the shale oil and gas revolution to bring jobs and prosperity to millions of Americans," another statement said. 

"The Trump Administration is also committed to clean coal technology, and to reviving America’s coal industry, which has been hurting for too long."

Trump took his first official actions as US president on Friday, sending his Cabinet nominations to the Senate and calling for a national day of patriotism, his spokesman said.

Trump also signed into a law a waiver to allow Defence Secretary-designate James Mattis, a retired US Marine Corps general, to serve, Sean Spicer said.

Many demonstrators are to participate in a "Women's March on Washington" on Saturday. Protests are also planned in other cities in the United States and abroad.

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